Continuing in our monthly feature Interviews by Yettie One, here is December's interview with member TetRefine (ya, two days late - but the week started in December so....)
The Pulse Behind the GA Crowd
by Yettie One
I was really genuinely excited to be able to interview this months member. As a new comer to GA, one of the people that I noticed played an active role in the community here is none other than TetRefine, a young and vibrant 20 year old guy who at the time I joined, had just returned from an exciting trip to South America. Located in Philly, TetRefine is a Manic Poster to GA, and can often be found in the forum or chat rooms.
I really wanted to find out more about the guy and so approached him for an interview for my series The Pulse Behind the GA Crowd. Happily TetRefine agreed and here are the results.
“I grew up an avid reader,” says TetRefine as we discuss how he came across GA in the first place. “I’d never read any gay fiction, and one day came across a link on a site called The Gay Surf Report that I used to frequent. I figured that it’d be cool to check out some gay themed stories, and so GA became the place I spent a lot of time exploring the world of homosexual writings.”
“My favourite story on GA, The Perks of Loving You, was the first full length story I ever read on GA, and I completed the first 10 chapters in one sitting. I’d met the writer in chat and he recommended that I read it, so I gave it a whirl. It is not a complicated or deeply reflective story, but it captured the angst of coming to terms with your own sexuality as a teenager in high school, and I actually got to contribute a piece of writing to one of the chapters,” he says with a sly wink. “And no, I won’t tell you which one!”
“I guess I’m also slightly biased as the writer Camilo just happens to be my boyfriend,” TetRefine admits. “Other favourites include All I Wanted (an anthology short story), Social Skills, Second Shot and Chronicles of an Academic Predator Book 1.” I quizzed TetRefine about his favourite writers on GA and found that it is Mark Arbour that leaps out as a clear winner in his eyes. “I just love the way Mark is able to capture the time period in which his stories take place so vividly. I really feel like I am transported back to the time in which the story takes place. It is his attention to even the littlest, seemingly insignificant details that paint a truly amazing scene.” Other authors fondly reflected on by TetRefine included KingdomByTheSea, Comicality, Quonus10 and DomLuka.
I wanted to find out a bit more about the guy himself, so dug a little. “I really love the Toucan as an animal. It is a stunning example of the vibrancy of nature,” TetRefine tells me as I dig. “I am ticklish,” he giggles, “But only in certain spots though.”
“My favourite eye colour would be blue, you rarely see blue eyes around here, and gosh I’d love an Audi R8 (damn good taste in cars me finks).” Known fondly as “Little Man” by his uncle growing up, TetRefine told me that he believed that you can have love without happiness, so in his opinion happiness is more important in life. And if your taking him out on a date, A bacon cheeseburger with mayo, ketchup, lettuce, tomato and pickles with a side of seasoned Cajun fries and honey mustard sauce is the route to his soul. (Fussy eater much? Hehe)
As we discuss the positive things of GA, TetRefine tells me that it has to be the Chat Room that stands out as his favourite feature. “I met a lot of great people in there (including my boyfriend of almost 3 years) and have had many meaningful, stupid, funny, heartfelt and dumb conversations in there. I also love the active debate of the soapbox, even though I am sure I’ve made a lot of people hate me due to my stance on certain issues.”
“For me, the most positive thing GA has given me has been a sense of not being the only one. When I first came to GA, I didn’t know the first thing about being gay, and didn’t know that many others like me existed. I was a confused, naïve 17 year old, and through GA I learned so much. If it weren’t for Cia and all the help she gave me I don’t know where I would have ended up in life, as corny as that sounds. I had originally planned to sign up to the army, but through GA and meeting Camilo the plans I’d made in high school all changed for the better. Crazy as it is to think about, joining the GA community has really had a massive impact on my life.”
In closing our chat together, I asked TetRefine what, if anything, he’d change about GA. He pondered this for a while before saying, “It is hard to think of an improvement as Myr and his team do such a great job in keeping things going. I guess I would like to see the rating system for non-authors go away, simply because I don’t think it serves any real purpose.” With that thought, I wrapped up our time together, and it is with much thanks for the candour and openness that TetRefine offered to me during out chat that made this interview so enjoyable. I hope that it is as insightful of a great young guy to you as it was to me. Next time you see him in chat, say Hi, I’m sure you’ll find he’s not got such a bad bite.